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MSI P4N Diamond Review - Page 1 of 10

INTRODUCTION

In November, 2004, NVIDIA announced a cross-license agreement with Intel that covered multiple product lines and generations. NVIDIA received the licensing needed to bring the nForce4 platform to Intel processors. As such, the Intel platform also had a solution which could benefit from NVIDIA's advanced 3D graphics performance enhancing technology.

MSI P4N Diamond

Back in April, Mike previewed the nForce4 SLI Intel Edition and came to the following conclusion:

"Although I have only used this system during the past six days, I threw a lot at the SLI setup by using 16X antialiasing, high quality texture filtering, and resolutions up to 2048x1536 (in Half-Life 2 no less). The system has been stable and the end results are impressive. Hard-core gamers that prefer Intel processors need to look no further than NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI to deliver the best gaming experience on the market today."

Today nV News takes a look at a motherboard born of the recent NVIDIA-Intel relationship; MSI's P4N Diamond. This robust example of nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition sports many features sought after by gamers and computing enthusiasts alike.

Limited Edition Logo

The NForce 4 SLI Intel Edition chipset brings a lot to the table as it supports four SATA2 connectors, two IDE ports, 10 USB 2.0 ports, two PCI-Express x16 interconnects for SLI, Gigabit Ethernet, Realtech AC'97 audio and dual channel DDR2 667+. The chipset supports the various Intel LGA775 CPUs including the recently announced Dual-Core 8 Series and 1066MHz FSB-capable Extreme Editions. The Intel edition makes use of the more traditional northbridge / southbridge chipset configuration instead of a single MCP as found on the AMD NF4 boards.

MSI P4N Diamond Motherboard

NF4 SLI Northbridge NF4 SLI Southbridge

FEATURES

The main features of the P4N Diamond include the following:

  • Complete support for all Intel LGA775 processors, including 533, 800 or 1066FSB bus speeds
  • NForce 4 SLI Intel Edition northbridge and NForce 4 MCP southbridge
  • 1066MHz FSB
  • 4x 240-pin dual channel DDR2 memory slots supporting up to 16GB with EM64T processors
  • 2x PCI-Express x16 slots
  • 1x PCI-Express x1 slot
  • 2x PCI expansion slots - one doubles as a PCI communications slot
  • 2x ATA133 ports, 6x SATA 2 ports and 1 eSATA port (bracket supplied optionally)
  • 4 (plus 6)x USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 (plus 2)x IEEE1394 FireWire 'A' ports
  • 8-Channel Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit audio chip with S/PDIF RCA & optical outputs
  • Dual Marvell Yukon Gigabit Ethernet Controllers

ACCESSORIES

The following items came bundled with the motherboard package. I received a utility disk, with all required drivers, a Creative Sound Blaster Live! installation disk, floppies with NVIDIA C19+MCP04 SATA Raid driver and Silicon Image SATA driver for Sil3132, and the P4N Diamond User's Manual.

Hardware Accessories

SPECIAL NOTE: The card & antenna are only available in some specific areas. My area was not one of the fortunate locations.

Next Page: Motherboard Layout

Last Updated on September 28, 2005


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